Ebooks in a library context: much confusion still reigns
February 19, 2010 | 7:20 am
By Paul Biba
Another European publication, this time Research Information from England. In a recent article, E-books face a bright future, the author, Maxim van Glsbergen of Swets, makes some interesting points.
Some 97 per cent of US academic libraries already have some e-books, he said, but adoption is expected to be slower and to work differently from the adoption of electronic journals. Research libraries are devoting only 11 per cent of their expenditure on monographs to e-books and only 12 per cent had a separate budget for e-books.
Van Gisbergen also noted that when in doubt, a librarian’s default position was to buy the print version of a book; whereas for journals, when there was any doubt, they would buy the electronic journal. The purchase of e-books tended to depend on whether the library had an enthusiast for the technology on the staff.
The article has many other interesting things to say about ebooks in a library context, including: … confusion remains one of the biggest barriers to adoption by libraries, he said. There is a lack of transparency in what a librarian is actually buying and difficulty in comparing price and licence conditions across e-book vendors. Sometimes it is difficult simply to find out what e-books are available, he said.
Thanks to Resource Shelf for the pointer.